Whether you are packing your bags for a season in the snow or planning your next holiday getting to your favourite mountain resort can be a hassle – but it doesn’t have to be. There are more ways of travelling to the snowy mountains than you may have thought. Here are the pros and cons of our favourites.
Flying above the snow capped peaks while sipping on a celebratory glass of Champaign doesn’t sound so bad… but the reality of flying to a ski resort can at times be a little less romantic.
Flying is one of the quickest ways to reach the far away mountains. It can also be a cheap option if you book in advance and are happy with the less then generous legroom offered by many a budget airline. Once you are at the airport you can relax and let others take control of your journey, worrying about weather and potential delays is no longer your problem.
Many of the larger airports are situated in cities relatively far from the resorts themselves. This means that while your flight may be quick you may have to spend a couple of hours in a transfer bus getting to your resort. Transfers can also be expensive, especially if your resort is far away from the airport. Beware of this when searching for a cheap option – do not grab that bargain flight without first checking your transfer options to resort. Flying can also become complicated for snowsports enthusiasts due to the sheer amount of kit you want to take with you. While this may be less of a problem if you are going on holiday those of you packing up for a season may struggle with the baggage allowance.
Driving is a great option if you, like a turtle, are carrying your home with you when you head to the mountains. But it can also be a fun way to travel to resort for a holiday. Did someone say “Road Trip?!”
You can bring as much as you like with you. Whether this is the extra 4 jars of marmite essential to any seasonnaire or being able to bring all your ski kit with you on holiday having no limit to luggage is great for a ski trip. You can be more flexible with time – if you feel the urge to stop for yet another coffee and croissant break then there is nothing to stop you.
You can make a road trip out of it – why not take the chance to stop off at a French Chateaux or Vineyard for the visit you have never had time for in a single trip? There is so much to see in Europe that we miss completely as we fly miles above it and you will not regret the case of wine you got at the magical family vineyard when you reach home.
Driving is definitely not the quickest route to your winter wonderland. The journey from the UK to the French Alps for example is likely to be at least 10 hours – maybe more depending on your departure and arrival points. While the stop off points may be great fun there are nicer ways to spend the majority of your day than in a car with your smelly ski boots just behind you. Sharing the driving makes this journey a lot easier but think carefully before you embark on such a long drive by yourself. Make sure you take plenty of breaks so as not to get too tired and be sure your car is ready for the conditions when you arrive with winter tyres and snow chains at the ready.
The train is often overlooked as a travel option for skiing but there are lots of rail links all over Europe that often bring you much closer to your resort than flying would.
With the Eurostar you can hop on a train in London and hope off right in the mountains making the train a very convenient option for travel. You can be far more productive with your time on a train than if you are driving so it is a great chance to catch up on some work or relax and watch movies on your laptop. There are also great options for sleeper trains meaning you can have a picnic dinner Orient Express style before sleeping away the whole journey and wake up ready to hit the slopes.
Although high-speed trains are available this is still a much longer journey than flying might be and if you get board easily or suffer from twitching legs when sitting down this may not be the journey style for you. If you choose not to pay more for a sleeper it can also be reasonable uncomfortable sitting in a train seat all day or night so it might not be the best sleep of your life.
Another option for drivers is to take the longer sleeper ferry further south meaning you spend the day or night on a boat with only a short drive to resort at the other end. It’s cruising time!
If you are driving out then this can massively reduce your time at the wheel while still giving you all the benefits of the road trip. The cabin options on ferries can be really comfortable meaning, like the sleeper trains, you can spend the majority of your travel time dreaming of the perfect powder that awaits you. There are also lots of facilities on modern ferries so you are less likely to suffer from cabin fever.
The sleeper boats are considerably more expensive than the quick crossing to Calais on a normal ferry. If you are prone to seasickness then this is probably an option to avoid and depending on where you are travelling too you may still have a relatively long drive at the other end.
Whatever route you chose to take we are sure you will have an amazing time when you reach your destination and remember we are always there to help you get the most out of your skiing or snowboarding once you arrive.
As always we would love to hear your thoughts so let us know what you think the best way to reach the mountains is.